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BIO434H5: Social and Developmental Determinants of Human Health

What Is Grey Literature?

Grey Literature is any literature that has not been published through traditional means. It is often excluded from large databases and other mainstream sources. Grey literature can also mean literature that is hard to find or has inconsistent or missing bibliographic information. 

Search grey literature to:

  • avoid bias
  • ensure that the review is as thorough as possible
  • find sources for negative results or brand new evidence
  • discover more references to published literature that your database search might have missed

CADTH's "Grey Matters" tool provides a list of organizations that produce grey literature. As well, the CRD guide and Chapter 6 of the Cochrane Handbook mentioned earlier in this guide include links to a number of grey literature sources.

Grey Literature Tutorial

Databases & Catalogues of Grey Literature

This list provides only a few producers and collectors of grey literature. Do a thorough search for sources in your field.

Sources for Authorities

When searching for grey literature, it is recommended to browse individual websites of identified authorities on your subject. Use the links below to find websites for specific governmental agencies and departments.